NHL Rumor Mill – October 25, 2021

by | Oct 25, 2021 | Rumors | 37 comments

Could the Blackhawks shop Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews at the trade deadline? Could the Sharks reach a settlement to terminate Evander Kane’s contract? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks wonders when the talk begins about Chicago Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews becoming available at the March 21 trade deadline. The duo has two years remaining on their contracts with matching $10.5 million cap hits and full no-movement clauses.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks’ lousy start to this season is behind Brooks’ speculation. Nevertheless, it seems premature for that kind of talk. Unless Kane and Toews want out, and there’s no indication of that, they’re not going anywhere.

Kane and Toews are signed through 2022-23. Assuming one or both were to hit the trade block, their contracts make them difficult to move this season with only seven teams carrying at least $10 million in cap space this season. Their movement clauses would significantly limit the number of potential destinations. The best time to move them would be next summer when there will be more teams with plentiful cap space willing to make big moves.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng had mused about the possibility of the San Jose Sharks reaching a settlement with Evander Kane to terminate the troubled winger’s contract. He pointed to the Los Angeles Kings doing the same thing with Mike Richards in 2015 where they paid 60 percent of the remaining value of Richards’ contract over 17 years, cap hit included.

However, Peng recently cited “a highly placed NHL source” saying such a settlement for the Sharks and Kane is out of the question for now. The source said the Sharks case for terminating the winger’s contract wouldn’t be as strong as the Kings’ case was with Richards.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some readers have also wondered why Kane’s use of a fake COVID vaccination card doesn’t constitute a breach of contract. Writing for Forbes.com, sports legal analyst Eric Macramalla explained it’s not a material breach because Kane can still perform the services of his contract, which is playing hockey. The Sharks also can’t use the morals clause in his contract as grounds for termination because he’s already been punished by the league for using that fake COVID card.

Given Kane’s limited trade value, Macramalla believes the Sharks will need to buy out Kane if they hope to move on from him.


  1. Kane in a deal for Eichel…. Kane goes home. Sabres fans would be happy.

    why not

    • Hi ds

      Longest of long shots

      Sharks started season well… why risk acquiring a player whose playing future is still not 100 % certain; and with increased Cap hit

      Sharks would still need to pony up more than Kane… at least 2 firsts

      But…. The main stopper in that deal…. Kane can only be traded to3 teams ….. and I highly doubt Sabres are 1 of his 3 choices

      Buyout next summer just might be the plan of action

      After buyout… cap hits of $3.7 M, $2.7M , $4.7M, then 3 years at $1.7 M

      Kane loses $5M gross about $2.3 M take home (after taxes and escrow

      Some team will pick him up at 2 @ $2M …. If that team is one of the tax free state teams…. Kane actually increases his net pay (over all the years of Sal and payout)

      Looking more and more likely that he’s played his last game as a Shark

      • I believe the post was referring to Patrick Kane going home to Buffalo area and not Evander Kane.

      • ds

        Marty pointed out that you were referring to Patrick and not Evander

        My bad. Didn’t even think of Patrick going to Sabres.

        That trade makes more sense. Not sure if PK will want to go to a building club that will not be a cup contender in his window of play ; even though it is coming back to his roots. He has full control.

        Would be interesting. Not 100% certain that Bowman takes a chance on Eichel and his surgery

        Might be an interesting trade. I think Adams would still want more than straight up though (not saying he’d get it, but he’d likely ask for it)

        If Sabres got Kane relatively soon… that is 2 years of PK on the team for <$9.8 M total in cash outlay… not a bad deal

        Now a 3-way in which Sabres retain on Eichel and Kane, Kane to a contender…. that might get PK to agree to move on; and increase Sabres return substantially.

    • I don’t see Kane going anywhere. Regardless of the veracity of his wife’s claims, the man is locker room poison. Unfortunately, SJ will simply have to bite the bullet and buy out his contract.

      • Uh, Pengy…..Paul, I think ds was referring to Patrick Kane, not Evander. You notice he wrote “Kane goes home”. Patrick Kane is from Buffalo.

      • Hi Howard


        Didn’t realize before 5 minutes ago; just posted my response on that above

        Yes knew Patrick was from Buffalo, but Evander played in Buffalo… and both were mentioned here in Lyle’s post today; Hadn’t even considered that Patrick would want to go to Sabres (even though it is his home town)
        … hence the brain fart and not realizing that ds meant him and not Evander

        I think it is a low probability move (all in his [PK’s] control)-but a 3 way (as I posted above) has at least some chance….. perhaps….maybe…. sortof

    • Chicago has enough problems

    • OMG, that is hilarious.

      Buffalo has been getting rid of guys who don’t want to be there.

      Kane is never coming back.

      • Could be a Kane mutiny.

      • Clever one. Likely went right over the heads of many – LOL

  2. A thought, Eichel says screw you and gets his choice of surgery. This triggers a contract termination and salary cessation. Does this make him a free agent?. I have to believe that has has plenty of money so other than the loss of income to him, what’s the downside? How much is personal freedom worth?

    • Hi Richard

      Nothing legally stops him from actually getting the surgery.

      He can go in today… however as you said… that could (and likely would) lead to contract termination; and insurance won’t pay either…. so that is a $50 M gamble.

      If he gets traded to a team that approves it; and if the insurer has not codicil re their approving surgery…. then a failed surgery and career over… he still gets his $50M

      I’m not him, I can’t put myself in his shoes.

      I’m 3 1/2 decades older than he is…. I wouldn’t do the surgery…. but that is me

      When it all comes down to it…. IF he absolutely is 100% confident in the surgery and 100% confident that he returns to $10M form… he could do the surgery

      He has not chosen that route… which leads me to believe that he is less than !00% certain on one or both of those above

    • Richard–An afterthought to your thought:

      What are the Sabres’ alternatives to terminating Eichel’s contract if he undergoes disc replacement surgery? Contract termination would prevent their financial loss, but would result in the material loss of a player of considerable value if healthy. Surely, those teams willing to trade for Eichel and allow him his choice of surgery would remain interested in him after his surgery, with no more assurance of his abilitly to play. Perhaps, the Sabres would seek to get what they can for him rather than allowing another team to sign him as a free agent. Or they cold retain him, taking the same risk as any team willing to trade for him.

  3. Eichel has 5 more years at 10 million each and he’s 24. If he has a non approved surgery that goes wrong and ends his career he’s taking a big risk. It would be pretty ballsie of him if this contract is terminated because he went against the club. Saying all that he must be convinced that his choice of surgery is the right one. He does after all have a long earning runway after this contract ends. He’s getting top medical advice also. I’m intrigued with the story

    • It sure is intriguing, Isotopes. I know of no other sports story like this.

      Including this season, Eichel has 60 million at risk.

      But he has already made an estimated 33 million in his career. So one way to look at it is that getting the surgery he wants gives him the best opportunity to make that 60 million, with the safety net of the millions he has made already.

    • Eichel would have to pay for the surgery out of his pocket as well. If he waits for a trade than that team will pay for it.
      I’m not sure how much the surgery costs, but I would think it’s not cheap, even for a millionaire.

  4. Chrisms, this from you to me late yesterday:

    ” I’ve pointed out several arguments/statements you’ve made that were wrong and you ain’t neva “manned up”. ”

    I don’t recall dodging you when you’ve called me out on a statement I presented as fact that you say wasn’t. Please, do tell me now. Give me the quote and the date where possible so I can properly respond, as I have done for Habfan30.

    You can go back through Older Entries on this site if it helps you. I will come back at the end of the day to see where I have been wrong and not manned up.

    Habfan30, it is irrelevant as to whether you respond to me. Our posts are not written in lemon juice. If I call you out, or Chrisms calls me out, it is there for all to see.

    Not replying doesn’t change your false to facts. Indeed, it says: I got nothing. Which is sterile, because all you have to do is say: Darn, got it wrong. We’d be past it and could focus on the sharp comments you occasionally make.

    Now Chrisms, cue the ominous orchestra music and get to work.

    • Fair enough. I’m not at all interested in going back post to post to validate my post. I don’t have the time nor inclination. If you want to do backflips over that fine. You win. I will be happy to draw your attention to future posts in real time. Till then.

      • I’m not interested in “winning,” Chrisms. My interest in this site is good, honest commentary. Any time you catch me sloppy or inaccurate with facts please do say so. It keeps the standards up, and we all win.

        And of course you don’t need my invitation to reply and or criticize my opinions on hockey …

  5. Re Eichel and non approved surgery.

    A common refrain here is He can go have it and if it goes wrong could trigger contract termination.

    On what basis?
    What makes contract termination the penalty?
    What is the insurance obligation to the team if they don’t terminate the contract?
    What is the recompense to the team for loss of future revenue?

    While we all have opinions, none of them are expert and more importantly the expert opinions in real life on both “sides” of issues are valid till there’s a ruling.

    • I think if Eichel has the non-approved surgery on his own, then the Sabers would have the “right” to pursue contract termination.
      However, I don’t think they would do that. If they terminate his contract then he basically walks away a free agent and Buffalo loses out on any trade options.
      Originally a few months ago I thought Buffalo should let him have his desired surgery and get him back on the ice ASAP. But at this point, I don’t think he’d play for Buffalo regardless of the surgery that was done, so I’d just trade him now for the best deal and let the new team deal with the surgery/recovery.

      • nevinsrip,

        Eichel’s, Pegula’s and insurance company experts are of different opinions so there are no experts here who have the definitive answer.

        I’m guessing the Pegula’s are happy with the status quo and the yearly $20 million swing which just might be the basis for what is considered to be unrealistic trade demands.

        Of course I recall your wager offer and my response.

        However I will add something, when the Habs DO make the playoffs later this year, I won’t remind you or rub it in. 🙂

    • Foley,
      Something to consider just to recognize there are so many more options for the club.

      Italian volleyball club Volley Maniago Pordenone is suing its former captain, claiming Lara Lugli breached her contract by getting pregnant.

      Different sport, different breach but it is happening After mutual termination of contract this year.

      The club is arguing Lugli’s pregnancy saw the team perform badly for the rest of the season, which resulted in lost sponsorship opportunities.

      No idea who will win the case but the team wants more than cancellation of contract.

    • Hi Habsfan, Even if the Sabres terminate his current contract, do they still retain his rights or does he become a free agent?

      I do not have a definitive answer to that, so I’ll leave it to those more knowledgeable than I.

      But I think not. They would argue that the player invalidated the contract by defying their edict not to have the surgery. So why should they lose a valuable asset because of a player blatantly violating his contract?

      Does anyone have the answer?

      And Habfan, remember our exchange pre season. I offered you a gentleman’s wager on the Habs making the playoffs this year and you politely deferred as a non gambler.
      I can understand that.
      I still think that the Habs are toast.

  6. I see Colliton being let go and Crawford elevated before any big names are moved. My opinion but I can’t see Toews or Kane wanting out quite yet. The team has potential but clearly the defensive structure has proven to be the issue the past few years especially at 5 on 5. Players look lost at times. I also notice a lot of watching with their sticks in the air leaving lanes open. On paper the team should be competitive so changing systems may be the best option.

    • Parabolic, agree. First coach gone if this doesn’t turn around, fast.

  7. I’ll bring back my Patty Kane for Eichel up again..

    Sabre fans been thru it for a decade plus. that team on paper had been decent but results were terrible

    P-Kane in building add some excitement while kids grow

    Eichel in Chicago with the youth be good

    • I’ll give it a go ds.
      So for arguments sake let say P Kane is willing to go there, but call me skeptical he would. He can go home in the summers.

      So if it is pre surgery and Eichel isn’t healthy, why would CHI do it? If your gonna trade a guy like Kane, it will be for high end prospects or a positional thing. Trade from a position where you have depth/strength for a position you don’t. Not for a guy who isn’t healthy and it is his neck/spine. All surgeries have risk.

      If it is post surgery and Eichel proves he is back and healthy, why would BUF do it?
      24 yr old high end C you have signed for 5 more years, for a 32 yr old high end winger only signed for 2? CHI would need to add a lot, as even with Kane, BUF isn’t winning anything for a few years. IMO it would be a waste of a really valuable asset for BUF. If the goal is to build a winner long term.

      • Ray, ds is voicing what many continue to do in here despite the obvious and valid doubt, i.e., they keep tossing out Eichel deals as if he’ll automatically snap back to his dominant self once the surgery – whichever one it is – is completed.

        I reiterate, the ONLY way Eichel is going anywhere other than Buffalo is if he finally has the surgery – whichever one it turns out to be – and demonstrates in game action that he’s healed – however long that will take – and is back to “normal.”

        Otherwise, why would ANY GM with an ounce of grey matter between the ears risk $50 million AND give up top assets at the same time?

        Please, let’s give the Eichel here … Eichel there … for this guy … or that guy … a rest.

      • Why not speculate on Eichel deals, George? He will not likely ever play for Buffalo again. That ship has pretty much sailed so in all the more likeliness he gets traded and not after returning to the ice to play for Buffalo to show if he can still play at a high level.

        Of course it doesn’t mean that the proposed offers make complete sense but how often do GM’s make head scratching moves for one reason or another?

        Happens all the time so to presume there is no GM out there willing to take a risk goes counter to what is an ongoing joke about the owners/gm’s needing measures put in place to protect themselves from themselves.

        Someone will bite but for what and by who?

        Who knows but it is very likely to happen at some point so why not have fun in the meantime and continue to speculate?

      • TheFlyingV, you may well be bang on, as Lord knows there surely have been some real head-scratcher deals in the past.

        But I doubt there has ever been one where a GM takes on a $10 mil per cap hit for 5 more seasons where the player in question has this huge Damocles Sword – in the form of a medical risk – hanging over his head.

        And taking that on without any other factors calculated in is one thing … but to relinquish valuable assets while doing so …. that GM better have balls of brass … or a death wish in terms of career termination.

      • FYI, George, I am not attacking your opinion, just curious as to why you think others should stop posting their thoughts on what it would take to make the trade happen.

        I personally don’t think Buffalo will get their ask but I do think this ends with a trade first followed by surgery.

        And the team that makes the deal is likely to be one that needs to make a splash, for one reason or another.

        Isn’t that what usually prompts big gamble moves? A GM with their job on the line throwing out a Hail Mary?

        Take a look at the Benning haters…where are they at the moment? OEL and Garland are looking great on the Canucks so far and he got rid of those albatross contracts to boot.

        The haters are probably hiding out hoping/waiting for a collapse so they can say I told you so about some of his moves.

        Don’t get me wrong, their were some pretty bad moves but there were some good ones as well but at the end of the day, no move can be guaranteed to go the way you hope.

        Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you but there is always a gamble and the size of the gamble is sometimes just mired in desperation.

        So while I believe he will never play for Buffalo again and will likely be traded my curiosity lies in who is desperate enough to do it and what will the actual cost be as compared to the current ridiculous asking price Buffalo wants considering the question marks about his future ability to be the same or close to what he was before the injury?

        I firmly believe there are GM’s out their that will try to eat the bear. The only question is whether or not they become the dinner instead.

      • George O,

        GM’s make head scratching deals sometimes but invariably involves failures in pro scouting.

        Scouts can and do get it wrong sometimes in assessing value or fit and mistakes can be glaring in hind sight.

        In this case the assessment is a glaring huge red flag in advance for all the reasons you have given and every GM can see them too.

    • Weren’t Kane and Toews upset with a potential ‘rebuild?’

      Why would he want to go to another team to rebuild? Even if it is his home town…

  8. I do not understand why criminal charges aren’t brought against Kane for fraud. That said, I’m happy for the Sharks to have that boat anchor contract on their books, along with the several other on there too.